Content Marketing for Magazines: What Readers Want vs Google

If you’re not serving the needs of your readers and Google, then at least half of your content marketing efforts are failing.

When you publish content on your free website Portal, you have two major influencers taking note of your content. And whether or not you’re able to please them will determine how quickly your website grows.

Content marketing is a singular phrase, but its two words are indicative of who your efforts are serving. The content serves your customers while the marketing serves Google—but you need both to have any chance of growing a content-based business online like a magazine or newsletter.

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Content Marketing Priority #1: What Readers Want

For many publishers, a percentage of content that they give away for free on their Portal is excerpted from their magazine.

This is important to do, because if you want a chance of getting subscribers to your magazine, then they need samples of your premium content in order to sample what they might receive. You should never give away magazine content in its entirety, but a 2,000 word article can easily be excerpted into an 800-word free Portal post. And when it cites the issue name and month as the source for the content, it paints a picture of what a subscriber can expect.

Additionally, publishers create new content to fulfill a content quota on their Portal homepage which is not only what users expect, but also a good signal for Google that can improve your ranking. To add to this volume, many publishers will recycle content that is evergreen and that is already driving steady traffic to their websites.

But what more do readers want from the content you publish?

  • Readers want the title of the article to be representative of the article that it’s attached to.
  • Readers want the content to thoroughly answer the question they expect to be answered.
  • Readers want the content to be grammatically correct.
  • Readers want the content to be as easy, or as sophisticated to read as the topic requires.
  • Readers want to learn your unique angle to a story or question, even if it’s well-covered online.
  • Readers want to be transported into your world, where you deliver a certain style and tone of content only available on your site.
  • Readers want to be able to find your content quickly and easily when they search for it online.

Content Marketing Priority #2:  What Google Wants

Publishing excellent content is not just good for readers, it’s a good omen for Google. An article that is well-liked by readers will inevitably be shared and passed around in social media. It may also be linked to from other blogs with good authority rankings. Google sees all of this as a good sign, and will pass on the good juju to an article. When this happens often, it can pass the same juju to the site overall, as Google establishes that you publish consistently good content.

Additionally, Google requires content publishers to certain signals into our content that help them list it in their search engine appropriately for the right search terms.

Here’s what Google wants from the content you publish:

  • Google wants everything your readers want, from the list above.
  • Google wants you to use the keyword phrases you wish to be found on, in your article title.
  • Google wants you to include the same or related keyword phrases in your subtitles and section heads that use H1, H2, and H3 tags.
  • Google wants you to use these keywords and related keywords within the body copy of your content.
  • Google wants content to be long enough to establish the best answer to the question being asked.
  • Google wants periodical content to be dated, so it knows when it published.
  • Google wants you to list an author, and include multiple authors within your Portal to show diversity.
  • Google wants you to link to related articles contextually in your article so it can learn more about the content.
  • Google wants you, when you are in a niche like health or investing, to link to related external articles to show authority of your data.

Some of the above may be determined not by Google itself, but by a high bounce rate. If a reader clicks on an article in search results and is immediately disappointed, she will click back to the search results page. Google takes this as a sign that the article is not what the reader was looking for on this given keyword phrase and over time will stop showing your article as a result.

If you want to learn how the Mequoda team can improve the marketing processes for your magazine or newsletter through a rigorous optimization and recycling process, please schedule a time to chat with us. These efforts can have a huge and immediate impact on your audience, revenue and profits.


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